Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals got a massive win against the 7-3 and AFC South-leading Tennessee Titans in an AFC divisional-round rematch from last season. Once again, Cincinnati came out victorious.
Joe Burrow had a very solid game for a guy who was playing against one of the best defenses in football and without two of his top weapons in Ja'Marr Chase and Joe Mixon.
Burrow finished the game 22-of-37 for 270 passing yards and one touchdown pass. He didn't have any turnovers in the game. Here were the best and worst from Burrow's Week 12 performance.
Best from Joe Burrow in Week 12 win
- Let the game come to him and executed when needed
Joe Burrow didn't pad his stats and have some astounding game in the numbers department, but he executed when needed and made big throws when the teams needed it. Throwing a deep touchdown pass to Tee Higgins and multiple prior passes that converted 3rd downs or set the tone for the drive.
He also connected on a beautiful ball to Trenton Irwin on 3rd and long that Irwin made a terrific play on. Burrow playing like that against a very good defense is huge, and he found a way to lead his team to a very big win.
- Used his legs and extended plays
Burrow didn't rush for a ton of yards, but he rushed for crucial ones, and one of them drew a 15-yard penalty, which helped the Bengals a lot in the long run. Burrow had nine rushes for 32 yards, and rushing nine times is what the shocking stat is because he used his legs on multiple occasions to keep the Tennessee defense honest, and that is a big pro in leading the team to victory.
When Joe Burrow is using his legs it opens up everything for the offense because it just another outlet that the defense has to worry about and stay on the toes for. Even more so, when key guys like Mixon and Chase are out.
Worst from Joe Burrow in Week 12 win
- Missed on a few throws
Burrow went 22-of-37, which isn't necessarily bad, but he's had better days in that aspect of the game. He also had an intentional ground that completely stalled a drive for the Bengals and was a 13-yard loss in the end.
Burrow usually sees the field at a very high level, and he did not say all of those incompletions were his fault by any means, but he had a few overthrown balls or balls thrown a little too wide. Definitely not a cause for concern by any means, but when determining what he struggled on in this matchup, the simple misses or rushed check downs when he had time in the pocket to continue to scan the field raised a few red flags in this game and hurt the offense at times.
- Questionable pocket awareness
- As I mentioned above, Burrow had an intentional grounding in this game and you can't be perfect every time but when lose the number of yards that the Bengals lost, it really killed that drive and resulted in a field goal when it could have been a touchdown. Those types of things can be critical against high-powered offenses.
Luckily the Titans are not a high-powered offense. Burrow also had a few occasions where he could've thrown the ball away, and he took a sack instead, and that has been a common occurrence throughout his entire career so far. He wants to make a big play instead of throwing it away and just taking the loss down.
That is one of the things that Joe Shiesty will need to continue to work on and improve because taking sacks when you can throw the ball out of bounds and run it back still in front of the stick or right at them is a lot better than losing the down and playing well behind the sticks.